How pickpockets work

Bresson’s Pickpocket had panache

I’m playing a pickpocket in a film that’s coming out soon called Get Lucky, so I thought I’d share a few tips to help you to stay vigilant against these opportunistic thieves.

1. Don’t make it easy for them. Thieves are looking for an easy mark – they’ll spot a wallet poking out of a pocket or an unzipped bag from a mile off.
2. Beware of Beware of Pickpockets signs! Thieves know that people self-consciously pat their pockets when they see these signs; it gives the game away immediately. Similarly, if you hear someone shout “I’ve been pickpocketed”, don’t touch your wallet!
3. Be vigilant against people who bump into you or spill things on you. Both are classic misdirection tactics.
4. Take extra care in busy areas and around ATMs. Fitting in, and looking like you know where you’re going will make you less appealing to thieves.
5. If you see a £20 note on the ground, ask yourself who’s watching. Whenever you bend down to pick up money, or help someone with dropped shopping, make sure you know where your valuables are.

I’ll be writing more about Get Lucky as we get nearer to the release date, but in the meantime, I really love this trailer from the old Robert Bresson film, Pickpocket.

What are you most afraid of?

Ethan Hawke has some justifiable fears, in Sinister (2012)

I recently saw a brilliant film called Sinister as part of the Film4 Frightfest (check out the trailer) and it made me think about the stuff that sends shivers down the spine. Some fears are definitely more rational than others. Lots of people are scared of the dark which sort of makes sense from an evolutionary point of view when you think about it, and explains why most horror films are so gloomy.

But just look at all the other stuff people are scared of. Tetraphobics are afraid of the number 4, and Xanthophobics are terrified of the colour yellow! And if you suffer from Papaphobia you should probably steer clear of the Vatican.

Some experts think we enjoy horror films so much because they show us what we don’t need to fear. Watching a woman give birth to Satan definitely puts your own problems into perspective.

Speaking of fear, do you know about the Wilhelm scream? It’s one of the best sound effects ever, and has been used in so many classic films. I love this compilation video: